The Wheel Spins

Best known as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock s classic film The Lady Vanishes, Ethel White s book The Wheel Spins is a gripping and accomplished work in its own right The plot is deceptively simple and the premise is classic a woman meets a mysterious stranger during a long railway journey It s easy to see in this novel what Hitchcock found so compelling and so well suiBest known as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock s classic film The Lady Vanishes, Ethel White s book The Wheel Spins is a gripping and accomplished work in its own right The plot is deceptively simple and the premise is classic a woman meets a mysterious stranger during a long railway journey It s easy to see in this novel what Hitchcock found so compelling and so well suited to his particular brand of filmmaking The protagonist of the story is Iris Carr, who suffers a blackout just before boarding a train that is traveling across Europe to London On board the train, the still woozy Iris befriends a certain Mrs Froy, a fellow Englishwoman who is perhaps a bit eccentric but seems to be for the most part agreeable and benign Mrs Froy is the vanishing lady of Hitchcock s title, and it is Mrs Froy who mysteriously disappears while Iris is napping Her inexplicable departure throws Iris into a mind bending mystery that will make her alternately question her sanity and the designs of the people around her When Iris asks about Mrs Froy, everyone on board the train denies ever having seen the old woman Although Iris could perhaps be swayed due to the knock on her head that Mrs Froy was merely a vivid hallucination, a few stray details suggest that something sinister is happening, and Iris resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery As gripping as the plot is, the novel s true strength is the masterful way in which White builds a brooding and ominous atmosphere that hangs over even the most seemingly ordinary scenes White has been compared to Edgar Allan Poe, although White also has much in common with Wilkie Collins, Patricia Highsmith, and Mary Higgins Clark Unlike traditional mystery stories or whodunits which generally open with a crime, White s novels trade on our anticipation of a future transgression and the eventual explanation of unusual events.
The Wheel Spins Best known as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock s classic film The Lady Vanishes Ethel White s book The Wheel Spins is a gripping and accomplished work in its own right The plot is deceptively simple an

  • Title: The Wheel Spins
  • Author: Ethel Lina White
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 1 thought on “The Wheel Spins”

    1. One of my favorite Hitchcock movies, and arguably his best British film, is The Lady Vanishes. It is a droll mix of humor and mystery concerning the disappearance of a old British lady on a train in Europe. Iris, another younger British woman, is the only one who remembers her and everyone else says the old woman doesn't exist.The Wheel Spins by Ethel White is the novel on which The Lady Vanishes is based on. It is an excellent example of the movie being better than the book. This isn't that The [...]

    2. Is this literature? No. Was this fun? Yes. It was certainly the right book at the right time. It is less mystery and more psychological thriller, but some of each. There is a Hitchcock film which I haven't seen, but of all directors, Hitchcock would certainly have been the right one for this. White easily sets the atmosphere.But faces kept coming in between her and her goal—faces that grinned or scowled—the faces of strangers. They melted away like a mist, only to give place to other faces. [...]

    3. Iris Carr is on her way home to England after vacationing with friends in Europe. She has tired of their company and stays behind an extra day, which leaves her travelling alone. In a setting of foreigners and strangers on the train, she meets another English woman, Mrs Froy, and finds comfort in her companionship. Iris had a slight accident on her way to the train, a head injury, and she is glad to be with someone to look after her. She awakens after a nap to find Mrs Froy gone and when she ask [...]

    4. I adore 'The Lady Vanishes'; it is easily one of my favourite films. I also love discovering forgotten authors who have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. Imagine my delight then when I found a Kindle copy of Ethel Lina White's collected works, including The Wheel Spins, the novel which Hitchcock's film was based upon.The Wheel Spins is remarkably slick. White moves from one character to the next so fluidly, and her writing is strong. I was immediately pulled in. Whilst Hitchcock's [...]

    5. Here is another entry into the Book to Movie Reading Challenge (as well as a whole boat load of other challenges). Ethel Lina White's novel The Wheel Spins (1936) was snapped up by Alfred Hitchcock and transformed into The Lady Vanishes (1938). This is another of the very rare cases where the movie is better than the book. Or maybe it's just that once I find something in one medium I rarely like it better in another.I first watched The Lady Vanishes about 20 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed Marga [...]

    6. Grazie, Ethel White ( e Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave, Cybill Shepherd, Ian Carmichael ): sei come una buona medicina. Ogni tanto rileggere la tua leggerezza e il tuo humor allevia le pene quotidiane. (rilettura agosto 2017)

    7. I listened to the unabridged BBC Audiobooks recording, narrated by Finty Williams, who reads clearly and with great range.Published in 1936 when the author was sixty years old, this novel was released as a film two years later, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The book was originally published as THE WHEEL SPINS, but most editions out there (all of which seem to be out of print in the USA) are called THE LADY VANISHES. Nothing like a fantastic movie to keep a book alive.This is actually a very well [...]

    8. Added 8/10/16. (first published 1936) Adapted to film: /title/tt0030341/?I was reminded about this book when it was mentioned in a quiz question at FunTrivia.My Netflix record shows that I rated the film 5 stars on 5/30/2010. It's vague in my mind.For some reason, I confuse this book with one entitled: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I guess it's because the titles are similar. See my review of that book at: /review/showThere are several film versions of this book:1938: Starring: Margaret [...]

    9. After several less-than-stellar White novels, this one comes back up close to the standard of Some Must Watch. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    10. I was expecting this classic 1936 missing person novel to be so predictable that it would fail to hold my interest. I was pleasantly surprised. Although the solution to the mystery was telegraphed rather early in the story and I anticipated a happy ending, White created such fantastic atmosphere that despite myself, I was on the edge of my seat reading it. 3.5 stars

    11. aka The Lady VanishesA young Englishwoman, Iris Carr, is travelling home alone from an unspecified European country. Suffering from sunstroke, she nearly misses her train but a helpful porter shoves her into a carriage at the last moment. The people in the carriage clearly resent her presence – all except one, that is. Miss Froy, another Englishwoman, takes Iris under her wing and carries her off to have tea in the dining carriage. When they return, Iris sleeps for a while. When she awakes, Mi [...]

    12. I want to do a full review of this soon, but till then, this was an effortlessly suspenseful read, even if you've seen the movie. The more I read Ethel Lina White, the more I come to appreciate her. This one particularly delighted me, not just with its gripping plot but also with the heroine's journey towards repentance and self-sacrifice.

    13. A good psychological thriller weakened by a reveal midway through and a too easy, somewhat abrupt ending. The Rosetta edition is also riddled with typos.

    14. This is an enjoyable, quick read. Lots of Agatha Christie similarities, but I actually enjoyed this a lot more.

    15. Poco más de 24 horas hace que la comencé. Y de dos sentadas me la he zampado. Creo que la publicidad de thriller psicológico no le hace ningún favor porque no tiene nada de thriller. Suspense e intriga, por un tubo. Pero la acción es reposada y la intriga se transmite por los monólogos interiores de la protagonista.Un tren, una mujer que viaja sola rodeada de gente que no habla su idioma. Hasta que se topa con otra británica. Charlan, toman el té. Nuestra protagonista se duerme unos minu [...]

    16. The prose dragged a bit, but the resolution was quite satisfying.Update: I watched the Hitchcock adaptation, and enjoyed it more than the book.

    17. The only drawback is that I have seen The Lady Vanishes so many times that the main thrust of the book - namely, the set-up of a confounding situation which is then ingeniously explained, and which happens multiple times in the plot - brings less satisfaction because I already knew how it would all play out. But you have to give credit - nowadays the whole "person-goes-missing-in-the-middle-of-a-crowded-train/plane/hotel/etc-and-only-the-hero(ine)-seems-to-remember-them" premise is old hat, but [...]

    18. Originally published (in 1936) as 'The Wheel Spins', it seems to have been re-issued under the title of the better known Hitchcock film, based on the novel (one of my favourite films). It differs from the film as you'd expect, but the basic premise is the same. Really enjoyed it.

    19. Iris Carr is a young Englishwoman leaving an unnamed eastern European country (called “Bandrika” in the film) by train on the first leg of a return to England. On the train she meets a talkative English governess, Miss Froy. Suffering the aftereffects of sunstroke, Iris falls asleep and when she awakens finds that Miss Froy is missing and that the railway personnel and all her fellow passengers insist that no person matching Miss Froy’s description was ever on the train. The rest of the no [...]

    20. FINALLY! After a slow start, and a whole middle section I debated skipping, I'm finally through to the other side. Now, after having closed the book, I suppose I am glad to have read it, but I just wish it hadn't felt like such a chore.What kept me going? Halfway through the book, the author began to give glimpses into the lives of the other passengers. I was thoroughly bored when it had been just Iris' voice, since it was mainly her whining and worrying that she was losing her sanity. Once the [...]

    21. This book was originally published in 1936 as The Wheel Spins which title is much more appropriate in my opinion to the plot itself. Hitchcock then adapted to the cinema in 1938 starring Margaret Lockwood as Iris Henderson and Michael Redgrave as Gilbert. An electronic version of this movie is available at: Internet Archive

    22. Just okay. Maybe if Hitchcock hadn't made a movie of the story I would've liked it more. But this is one of the rare instances where the movie is better than the book. It seems a bit antiquated or maybe Ms White just wasn't a great author. This is certainly no Du Maurier's Rebecca or Buchan's The 39 Steps.

    23. This is a first class book. I usually like to read the book before the film. I made the exception in this case, as we all saw the Hitchcock films as they came out. Highly recommend.

    24. Oh my god! it took me so damn long to finish this bookwhen I first read the synopsis I got so excitedunfortunately it got a slow start,chapters were boring and it was hard to finish it untill the plot picked up(half way through the book) I liked the plot rising and I became so sorry for poor Iris and I couldn't keep myself from imagining what I would do if I was facing the same situation and I thought she's a very brave girl for not letting anyone to deceive her and did whatever was possible to [...]

    25. I saw the movie of this years ago. Reading the book gave me a lot more insight into the author and the characters. There was some sort of xenophobic talk of the "proper English person" and how that person should behave. Ironically, several of the English people did not behave well. Also, this must have been quite a paternalistic time. Passengers on the train actually believed they had a right to drug a woman against her will because they thought she was acting in a hysterical manner. Imagine!

    26. Novela predecible si, pero donde la autora sabe crear un ambiente opresivo contrarreloj que para ser de 1930 esta bastante bien. Entrañable señorita Froy aunque insoportable según Iris

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